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Selig tabs Torre, others for new baseball committee

Baseball's postseason featured its share of dramatic moments but also some forgettable ones, namely a series of blown calls that caused much consternation in the commissioner's office.

Still, Bud Selig said those instances weren't the primary motivation for the formation of baseball's Special Committee for On-Field Matters, which he announced Tuesday on a conference call.

"This is not a reaction to some of the things that happened during the playoffs," Selig said. "I'm not saying it didn't keep me moving along in this direction because it did, but I had this in mind for a long time . . . If there are things we can do to improve this game, that's the goal."

Selig said there would be "no sacred cows" in terms of topics addressed by the 14-person committee, which includes managers, current and former executives and owners. The group will meet for the first time during the owners' meetings Jan. 13-14 in Phoenix.

Among the issues Selig mentioned was the expansion of the use of instant replay, pace of play, scheduling and the postseason format. The latter was oft-discussed in October and November as the Yankees played 15 games in 31 days en route to winning the World Series. The Angels, heading into Game 6 of the ALCS, had played just eight games in 20 days, which Mike Scioscia called "ridiculous."

"This is one of those things we're going to talk about," Selig said.

Of course, decisions relating to postseason scheduling would have to be made in concert with the networks but Selig said he was prepared to "talk to our broadcast partners."

Selig will chair the committee that comprises managers Jim Leyland (Tigers), Tony La Russa (Cardinals), Joe Torre (Dodgers), Scioscia (Angels); current or former general managers Terry Ryan (Twins), John Schuerholz (Braves), Mark Shapiro (Indians), Andy MacPhail (Orioles); and owner representatives Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Chuck Armstrong (Mariners) and Dave Montgomery (Phillies). MLB adviser Frank Robinson and columnist George Will round out a panel that doesn't include any players or umpires.

"We can't have every constituency involved at first," Selig said. "We will branch out as time goes on. There needs to be a genesis to this project and this is where we will start."

Selig said he had no timetable in mind for any changes.

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